Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The grayish-white to black powdery residue left when something is burned.
  • n. Geology Pulverized particulate matter ejected by volcanic eruption.
  • n. The mineral residue of incinerated organic matter, used as an additive in pet foods.
  • n. Ruins: the ashes of a lost culture.
  • n. Bodily remains, especially after cremation or decay.
  • transitive v. To reduce or convert to ash: ash a tissue sample for analysis.
  • n. Any of various chiefly deciduous ornamental or timber trees of the genus Fraxinus, having opposite, pinnately compound leaves, clusters of small flowers, and one-seeded winged fruits.
  • n. The strong, elastic wood of this tree, used for furniture, tool handles, and sporting goods such as baseball bats.
  • n. Linguistics The letter æ in Old English and some modern phonetic alphabets, representing the vowel sound of Modern English ash.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The solid remains of a fire.
  • n. The nonaqueous remains of a material subjected to any complete oxidation process.
  • n. Fine particles from a volcano, volcanic ash.
  • n. Human (or animal) remains after cremation.
  • n. What remains after a catastrophe.
  • v. To reduce to a residue of ash. See ashing.
  • v. To hit the end off of a burning cigar or cigarette.
  • v. To cover newly-sown fields of crops with ashes.
  • n. A shade tree of the genus Fraxinus.
  • n. The wood of this tree.
  • n. The traditional name for the ae ligature (æ), as used in Old English.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of trees of the Olive family, having opposite pinnate leaves, many of the species furnishing valuable timber, as the European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and the white ash (Fraxinus Americana).
  • n. The tough, elastic wood of the ash tree.
  • n. sing. of ashes.
  • transitive v. To strew or sprinkle with ashes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In botany: The popular name of trees belonging to the genus Fraxinus (which see).
  • n. The name (with some adjunct) of various trees or shrubs of other genera, generally from some resemblance in foliage or qualities of the wood to the common ash. (See below.) Also, in parts of England, the name of some herbaceous plants, chiefly umbelliferous, as the ground-ash, or ashweed, Ægopodium Podagraria and Angelica sylvestris, and the sweet ash, Anthriscus sylvestris.
  • n. The wood of the ash-tree; hence, something made of ash, as the shaft of a lance or spear.
  • Pertaining to or like the ash; made of ash.
  • To strew or sprinkle with ashes.
  • To convert into ashes.
  • n. What remains of a body that is burned; the incombustible residue of organic substances (animal or vegetable) remaining after combustion; in common usage, any incombustible residue of materials used as fuel: usually in the plural.
  • n. Fine material thrown out of a volcano in eruption.
  • n. plural The remains of the human body when burned; hence, a dead body or corpse; mortal remains.
  • n. In Australia, the name of various trees having a real or fancied resemblance to those of the genus Fraxinus, especially of trees of the genera Elæocarpus and Flindersia.
  • n. Fraxinus lanceolata.
  • n. A small Australian tree, Elæodendrum australe, whose close-grained pinkish wood is used for staves, oars, and shingles. Also called olive-wood.
  • n. The green ash, Fraxinus lanceolata.
  • n. The involatile constituents of wine; the solid residue evaporated to dryness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. convert into ashes
  • n. strong elastic wood of any of various ash trees; used for furniture and tool handles and sporting goods such as baseball bats
  • n. the residue that remains when something is burned
  • n. any of various deciduous pinnate-leaved ornamental or timber trees of the genus Fraxinus

Etymologies

Middle English asshe, from Old English æsce; see as- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English asshe, from Old English æsc.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English asshe, from Old English æsce, from Proto-Germanic *askōn (compare West Frisian jiske, Dutch as, German Asche, Swedish aska), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂éHōs (compare Hittite  (ḫašša, "potash, ashes"), Ancient Greek ἄζα (aza, "dry dirt"), Albanian ashkë ("amadou, touchwood, tinder"), Old Armenian աճիւն (ačiwn, "ashes"), Ormuri yānak, Sanskrit आस (āsa, "ashes, dust")), Kurdish ax ("soil") (compare with xwelî ("ash"), cognate with English "soil"). (Wiktionary)
Middle English asshe, from Old English æsc, from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz (compare West Frisian esk, Dutch es, German Esche, Danish/Swedish ask), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃osk- (compare Welsh onnen, Latin ornus ("wild mountain ash"), Lithuanian úosis, Russian ясень ("jásen’"), Albanian ah ("beech"), Ancient Greek ὀξύα ("beech"), Old Armenian հացի (hacʿi)). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Comparisons: The white ash is apt to be confused with the _black ash_

    Studies of Trees

  • So I told her how the ash would grow _anywhere_ -- even at the seaside, where all trees lean from the sea -- _except the ash_.

    The Measure of a Man

  • The Watchdog says the word "ash borer" reminds him of his flea problem.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • And this ash is the thing, which to my mind, connotes Korea today, not necessarily the hills.

    Korean Report

  • The final result is, however, inevitable, and always the same, viz., the oxidation and escape of the organic mutter, and the concentration of the inorganic matter woven into its composition -- in it, but not of it -- forming what we call the ash of the plant.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 362, December 9, 1882

  • Many airports were shut and flights were grounded across the United Kingdom on Thursday because of ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland, airport authorities said.

    POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: April 15, 2010

  • The air is full of swirling dust and soon there will be ash from the Spring Burning.

    Neighborhoods of Merida

  • We still don't have a good way of producing electricity from fusion, and there are still serious R&D issues with clearing the helium ash from the plasma.

    Dennis Wingo - Why Space? Why Now? - NASA Watch

  • It reminded me of this really old children's story, "Hitty: Her First 100 Years" about a little doll carved of mountain ash wood, and no matter what happened to her, she always reminded herself what she was made of, and where she came from.

    Saveur, the Texas issue | Homesick Texan

  • Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images Paramedics helped a villager who was covered in ash after the eruption of Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano Tuesday.

    Volcano Erupts in Indonesia

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